Westlake Chemical (WLK) Receives “Buy” Rating from Citigroup

Citigroup reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) in a research report released on Wednesday morning. They currently have a $133.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Johnson Rice began coverage on Westlake Chemical in a report on Monday, November 6th. They set an accumulate rating and a $100.00 price objective for the company. Alembic Global Advisors restated a buy rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Friday, November 24th. ValuEngine cut Westlake Chemical from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Morgan Stanley began coverage on Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. They set an equal weight rating and a $120.00 price objective for the company. Finally, UBS Group restated a sell rating and set a $61.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $110.21.

Shares of Westlake Chemical (WLK) opened at $108.49 on Wednesday. Westlake Chemical has a 1-year low of $59.58 and a 1-year high of $115.19. The stock has a market capitalization of $14,010.00, a P/E ratio of 23.48, a PEG ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.62. The company has a current ratio of 2.31, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.69 by ($0.07). Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 15.59% and a net margin of 7.74%. The firm had revenue of $2.01 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.06 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.87 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will post 5.58 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be paid a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.77%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, February 26th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 18.18%.

In other Westlake Chemical news, CEO Albert Chao sold 45,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.76, for a total transaction of $4,264,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 299,018 shares in the company, valued at $28,334,945.68. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman James Chao sold 76,135 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.69, for a total value of $7,209,223.15. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 129,078 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,222,395.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 172,153 shares of company stock valued at $16,326,098. 72.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WLK. Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 2.5% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 11,852 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $785,000 after purchasing an additional 286 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 6.0% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 575,374 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $38,095,000 after purchasing an additional 32,736 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 5.7% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,922 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $260,000 after purchasing an additional 211 shares during the last quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the third quarter worth $204,000. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 31.2% during the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 337,640 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $28,055,000 after purchasing an additional 80,322 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 32.76% of the company’s stock.

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About Westlake Chemical

Westlake Chemical Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers and building products. The Company’s products include a range of chemicals, which are fundamental to various consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, water treatment, refrigerants, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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